Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tiny Living

Dear blog,

Have you heard about the tiny house movement? I am really digging it. I first came across a tiny house about a year ago that a family of 4 uses as a cabin which led me to Tumbleweed Houses . Ever since then I have been making plans in the back of my mind to build a tiny house on a trailer to take camping. Heath likes the idea too.

Before learning about this movement I was planning on having a smaller than average house. I think a smaller home is all around the best fit for me and for most. It uses less energy, creates less sprawl, gets you outdoors more, makes you live more efficiently and with less clutter, and is much easier to clean (my favorite part).

I came across this video the other day and the ingenuity is remarkable. So clever and yet once you see it, so obvious. Living in a place like that would force me to keep all surface clean. Of course, I do not think everyone could or should live like this, but it is definitely a smart approach to living in a highly dense city.

What do you think?


Friday, February 3, 2012

School Woes

Dear blog,

Sometimes, I am in class which has a background that I have no knowledge of (engineering/physics) and feel like a complete moron surrounded by other students who actually know what is going on. It is discouraging and makes me want to quit. But just about everything can be learned and I am just going to have to take the extra time to catch myself up. I have to repeat to myself, "I can do it. I can do it. I can do it."

Sometimes I have to finish an assignment for school and Juni will NOT go down for a nap and, bless her heart, pulls at my hand to come and play with her. I get super stressed out and think to myself, "What was I thinking? I shouldn't be doing this! My poor daughter just watches movies all afternoon while I work on homework. I am neglecting her." Then I barely make it to class on time and by the time class is over I realize, "No, I need to be in school. It is important to learn what I am learning and one day it will bless me, my family, and hopefully I can make some impact on the world. Besides, mornings and weekends with Juni are definitely quality moments." (And I'll be OK with myself if I don't leave an impact on the world. Outside of family and friends, most people don't and I'm not any different).

My point is, I should have finished school a long time ago. Hindsight is truly 20/20 folks! I need to finish school, I just should have been smarter about it. I thought it would get easier to focus as I got older (which is half true. Being older and more mature and busy has made me realize that writing a paper isn't so hard, just time consuming) but life just becomes more complicated and difficult, making school harder in turn. It is kind of like how Heath and I thought we were so poor before Juni came into our lives, but we never that we would have to make ends meet on one part time salary. Thank goodness for grants. Oy! How naive I was. And how naive I must be now compared to when I am 30, 50, 70. And yet despite my naïveté, I must seize the day as patterns show life will only get more complicated.

This post sounds really negative but it is actually supposed to be motivating (I'm a terrible motivator) so perhaps this will do the job well instead:

It worked! I feel motivated! But I must add that in the second video when they scanned through the boys, I just pictured Christian Bale as Batman singing in his scratchy Batman voice. Oh, I had a good laugh.


Friday, January 27, 2012

I Sew?

Dear blog,

About a year ago, I was asked by a friend to recover her glider for her son's nursery. I had never done a sewing project like that before but I knew I could do it and she knew it too and was very encouraging. Besides, it wasn't too difficult of a job. So I went at it.

Now, I must admit that I feel silly posting these pictures because I just do, and because well, her nursery was featured on Design Sponge and she is none other than Summer Bellessa, the lovely brunette of The Girls With Glasses. But I am so proud of my work, however small, that I cannot help but share this special project.

1st and 3nd pictures are taken from Design Sponge and you can see the entire nursery here

Summer did an awesome job! So fresh, clean, fun, and definitely has the Summer air about it. And that crib I am dying over.

Thank you Summer for having the confidence in a first time "Upholsterer." It was fun to do!

À demain,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Some Quick Updates

Dear Blog,

  • The past week or so have been quite crazy. Fun, but crazy. Lots of family was in town. My 2 sisters and their families, my grandma, an aunt and her family, and an uncle and his family. Some I hadn't seen in a while, others I hadn't seen in a very long time, and others I hadn't met at all. My grandma finally got to meet Juni, and 3 other great grand children. It was lots of fun. I'll have to post pictures at a later time but for now here is a 4 generational photo.

Juni, me, great-grandma, tutu (grandma)

  • Oh, and do you see that? I chopped off all of my hair! I look much older, especially in this photo. So I'm not sure if it was a good move. But just in case you're wondering I always look much better in real life than I do in pictures. In other words, take this picture and upgrade it a few times and you get me in real life.

  • It was my Birthday on Monday. So now I'm 25!

  • School is going well but it's only just started. I can tell one class is going to be particularly challenging. I have no background for the subject so we'll see what happens. In fact, I should be studying for it but did you hear? Somebody, somewhere hacked into the ASUrite system and it's been shut down the past 2 days. Meaning I can't do a darned thing since 2 classes are online and the other two heavily use blackboard on the ASU site.

  • Juni is getting older. She is now in a toddler bed. Let's just say bars or no bars, she sucks at sleeping! I might lose it. At this very moment she is in her room and is supposed to be napping. But instead she just opens her door, waits for me to come walking down the hall, and then runs and jumps into bed and when I leave she waits a minute and opens the door and we do the whole thing over again. What's difficult is that she isn't grumpy or crying, but she's tired and refuses to go to sleep. The 3rd night into using a toddler bed she stayed up until nearly 1 a.m. She was wide awake. Luckily I was more patient than normal and wasn't totally losing my head. I thought I would scare her into staying in her bed. So I raised my voice and pointed my finger but it didn't phase her. If you know Juni you know that this isn't like her. One word from me in a disappointing tone makes her break down and sob. I don't know what to do.

  • I could clean. I don't. I could read. I don't. I could forget about Juni's nap and just take a walk to the park. I don't. Instead, I just dream on Pinterest.

  • I love you!


Friday, December 30, 2011

The Night That Remy Died

Warning: This is our account on the murder of our house rat. No dead mice are shown (save his tail).

Dear Blog,

If you are my friend on Facebook you may have already seen this photo:

You see, a little over a month ago Heath and I heard some crunching noises one night coming from the kitchen. The next morning we saw a rodent turd on the floor. Yes. We had a rat in the house. This was unusual for Heath. He dealt with many rats on his mission but never here in Arizona. I however was familiar with this. When I was younger and lived on Robin Lane we had plenty of mice.

So we went about setting up traps. I never want to see a dead rat on the floor when I wake up so I did not want to go the traditional rat trap route. I found instead these covered spin traps. You don't have to see the dead creature and the trap indicates whether there is anything inside and then you just throw the whole thing away. We baited it with some peanut butter but for a whole week nothing became of it.

One morning Heath just got out of the shower and still wrapped in his towel went to the pantry to get some cereal. (You know your husbands do it to). To the right of the pantry door hangs the aprons and in the corner of his eye he saw the aprons moving. He looked over and caught a quick glance of the rat trying it's hardest to stay on. Heath grabbed something nearby and in the process lost his towel. He started beating the aprons. Naked. He looked absolutely crazy! The mouse dropped to the floor and scrambled his way underneath the couch. Heath still looking crazy barged into our room to announce to me the updated whereabouts of the rat. Later that day we discovered it was still under the couch. We tried with all our might to catch it but it found its way back home again. (That is what the above picture is portraying).

Onto the next strategy. I do not like sticky traps. At all. Yes, I am a bit of an animal rights activist (exaggeration?) and I can't just toss the live rodent to suffer in the dumpster until it died or got crushed. But we set out sticky traps nonetheless. Still, nothing!

We started getting creative. One night I was up late and heard the rat in our bathroom. "Perfect!" I thought, "I can trap him in there. So I lined up some sticky traps along the doorway thinking he would be stuck in the bathroom or he will get stuck to the paper. The next morning we found....nothing! I should have known they can jump. Heath made a 2 x 2 sticky pad with some yummy food in the middle. This thing separated one row of the paper and walked up the center to the pile of food and left not a sign of his presence. Not even a hair!

This little (big) mouse set up his home underneath our kitchen cabinet. We tried trapping him there. He clearly had food storage. We could hear him munching every night. Well, we weren't giving up! But especially Heath. He started losing it a little bit.

The floor had just been freshly swept and mopped one evening. Heath was changing out the laundry. He dropped off the dry laundry in our bedroom, then put the wet into the dryer and started a new load. He turned around and there he saw it.

The rat? No, no, no. He didn't see the rat. What he saw was worse (in his eyes). What he saw was...

a turd! On the freshly mopped floor!!! Heath couldn't handle such an atrocity. He exclaimed that he just walked past that spot and nothing was there and a few minutes later there it was. And no sign of the rat. Oh, we could just imagine it. The rat was hiding in an unusual spot. He needed to get back to his home under the kitchen cabinet. He saw that I was in the other room with the child. And the man was busy with that loud machine. Here was his chance. But as he scurried past he paused and a malicious smirk grew on his face. "I'm just gonna take a dump right here. That'll get 'em!"

Yes, that is surely what happened.

Not to many nights ago Heath woke up in the middle of the night. He heard the rat. This time he was close and sounded like he was in our closet. He must have been climbing on something because Heath heard him fall and thud onto the carpet. Gives me the shudders.

Poison was out of the question, what with a toddler running around. Plus, I was wary of the rat going back to his hideout, dying and then stinking up the joint. What could we do?

One night we set out a few crumbs of bread right outside his home. Heath sat on the counter top with a big heavy textbook-like book, waiting for the rat to come eat the little morsels and so Heath could drop the book on him. Well, he waited and waited and waited. About 15 minutes of waiting. And no rat came. Finally, he gave up and we sat on the couch and chatted for a little bit (about 20 feet away from the kitchen). About 5 minutes later I got up and walked past the kitchen. The crumbs were gone! Oh he was a clever rat. But not clever enough!!!

Heath found a mouse trap on amazon.com. The reviews were very good. We ordered it and set it out right before we went to bed. No more than 10 minutes later we heard a SNAP! and some scratching then silence. Heath did one of those cool inward fist pumps with a whispered "YES!" and went out to see the lowly dead creature. He peaked around the corner into the kitchen and startled the still-breathing rat!!! It started panicking and actually, perhaps more accurately, started tap dancing with the trap as his tap shoe ("trap" dancing?). It was brutal. About half way into his routine he bled through his mouth and made the kitchen into a true murder scene. Heath felt bad and I just wished he would die. Why did it take so long?
He tapped on and off for at least 15 minutes.

Finally dead, I could witness this thing that haunted our home for a month. He was big. Probably between 10-12 inches from nose to tail. He looked like Remy from Ratatouille. Same coloring and everything. Plus he preferred to be in the kitchen. Poor little fellow. But maybe if you could cook like Remy we would have kept you alive. Besides, we fed you for a month and how did you thank us? By pooping on our floors!

Now, if you dare look. Here are some pictures of the crime scene...

dun dun DUN

It was a blood bath.

Now don't tell me I didn't warn you!
Heath wrote a lovely short on it here. And don't worry. No toddlers ate rat poop during Remy's stare here at the Wilcock residence. Or so I surely hope that no toddlers ate rat poop. Oh my, I pray she didn't!

Emily "The rat killer" Wilcock

Monday, December 26, 2011

2nd annual Very "Kerri" Christmas

Dear Blog,
Before I post about our Christmas (which was awesome, by the way) here is the lovely Kerri's house all spiffed up for the holidays.

 One of my favorite of Kerri's crafts this year. Love the buttons.
 So this doll represents me as I am holding "Juni." Apparently I am also the evil elf. Emily the Evil Elf
 Her abundant Anthro DIY snowglobes. They were fun to make, or so I heard.

 Juniper Lucy with Lucy the pug.
 The cracker jar/toadstool version of the Anthro snowglobe.

 Cutest Christmas garland ever!

 Anthro copied paper Christmas trees.

 This is one of the new decorations she added this year. Santa and Mrs. Claus with Rudolph and Co.

Is Juni the luckiest girl or what? Thank you Kerri for always making Christmas extra special (and for being the best gift giver ever!!!)

Merry Christmas!!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

I am back from the grave

Dear Blog,

Are you there? Do you remember me? I am sure you are wondering if I remember you. Quite a few people have asked when I am going to update my blog. I got so tired (I still am) and things got a little overwhelming for a time so the blog had to be cut. I really thought I never would for some time but I think I change my mind.

Since my last post

We have:

Experienced Disneyland
Moved to another apartment, much closer to ASU
had a mouse in the house for the past month that we CANNOT seem to catch!

I have:

started up school again (at ASU)

become dependent on Coca-Cola (thanks to Heath's strong influence)

become the Relief Society and Ward Choir pianist

actually started, finished, and displayed more than one craft found on Pinterest

That cake was so tasty! and Heath, you're so photogenic.
Heath has:

turned 25 years old!

found out he is going to be published in print in LUX

been chosen to intern for the literary magazine  

Hayden's Ferry Review at ASU
been waiting patiently for a calling in our new ward

It is amazing the change in Juni that past 6 months. She no longer looks like this: a baby.

 Juni has:

started daycare

stopped daycare (she really wasn't ready and now she is more clingy than ever)

turned 2 years old!

been weaned from the bottle

become obsessed with hats (see last picture)

 Some cute pictures of June Bug

Most of these things I am sure you already knew about but that is the past 6 months in a nut shell.

I have missed you all and here is to the next post!